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Very good first practice

20.05.2011 Pål Varhaug ended up P8 in the first practice in Barcelona. Romain Grosjean has picked up where he left off in Istanbul after setting the pace in this morning’s free practice session in Barcelona, claiming the top spot by half a second from Davide Valsecchi and Jules Bianchi. The Frenchman set his fastest lap of 1:30.559 just five minutes into the quiet session, with his rivals chipping away at his time over the remainder of the session. With all of the teams testing earlier this year, the session was largely used to fine tune their set ups for the weekend. Grosjean ultimately set the two fastest laps of the session, with everyone happy to drive within themselves and avoid any unnecessary work before this afternoon’s qualifying session: the closest thing to an incident during the session was when Fairuz Fauzy ran a little too deep at turn 12 and got stuck in the gravel, bringing his track time to an early end. Behind the top three were Giedo van der Garde, Luca Filippi, Charles Pic, Fabio Leimer, Pal Varhaug and Dani Clos, all of whom were within a second of the top time. But while it’s unlikely that these times will ultimately be representative of this weekend’s pace, it is equally unlikely that qualifying will be so sedate: with the teams and drivers so intimately knowledgeable about the circuit, you should expect a huge battle for pole this afternoon. Barcelona – Free Practice Driver Team Laptime Laps 1. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:30.559 13 2. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:31.081 14 3. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:31.214 11 4. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:31.237 12 5. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing 1:31.265 7 6. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:31.410 10 7. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:31.507 16 8. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:31.536 14 9. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:31.656 13 10. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:31.672 14 11. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:31.834 14 12. Max Chilton Carlin 1:31.840 16 13. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:31.889 10 14. Alvaro Parente Racing Engineering 1:31.930 13 15. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:31.982 6 16. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:32.031 14 17. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:32.040 15 18. Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology 1:32.073 16 19 Julian Leal Rapax 1:32.144 7 20. Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology 1:32.201 16 21. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1:32.211 14 22. Josef Kral Arden International 1:32.499 4 23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:32.778 14 24. Sam Bird iSport International 1:33.491 18 25. Kevin Ceccon Scuderia Coloni 1:33.274 13 26. Jolyon Palmer Arden International – 1
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